Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit (GIDRU)

Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Area(s) of Expertise

Gastrointestinal (GI) and nutritional disorders have a tremendous impact on Canadians’ sense of well-being. However, the lengthy pathway between the laboratory and the patient often prevents promising research findings from getting to patients quickly.  To address this critical gap in the research-to-patient continuum, we have established a “Human Laboratory” that will take scientific discoveries from the fields of gastroenterology and nutrition to the clinic. Strategically embedded within Kingston’s primary hospital, the Human Laboratory permits high-quality human research and training to be conducted within the confines of a busy patient care setting. We already have an established pipeline of novel, promising "patient-ready" discoveries, including synthetic stool probiotics, primed for testing in patients. Our unique breadth of basic and clinical expertise, as well our extensive academic, industrial and commercial partnerships, will ensure that we realize the full socioeconomic impact of products in a timely fashion.

What the facility does

Study and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders

Research Services

Chemostat suite (used to generate probiotics based on communities of beneficial human bacteria); research endoscopy suite; human GI tissue biobanking and processing; human GI physiology laboratory; human clinical trials and data analysis

Sectors of Application
  • Education
  • Health care and social services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Name of specialized lab 

Name of equipment in use

Description of function

Chemostat Suite

Multifors chemostat system

Culture of synthetic microbial stool communities

 

Anaerobic workstation

Culture of individual synthetic stool components under strictly anaerobic conditions

Research Endoscopy Suite

Research endoscopes

Enables clinical studies, tissue and microbiome sampling, and delivery of therapeutic treatments

Biobanking Facility Workstation

Freezerworks biobanking software, ultra-low freezers, centrifuges, pipettors.

Specialized software allowing for accurate, large-scale databanking

Human Tissue Research Laboratory

Dissecting microscopes

Permits the fine dissections necessary to perform recordings of nerve fibers from human intestinal tissue

 

Ussing chambers

Critical for the study of the neural and immunological regulation of epithelial ionic transport in the gut

 

Patch-clamp electrophysiology equipment

Allows for the study of electrical signaling events at the level of the cell membrane of nerves and muscles; critical for deciphering their biological functions

 

Calcium imaging system

Detects changes in intracellular calcium levels in live cells, which plays a vital role in many cell signaling processes

 

Afferent recording equipment

Records electrical nerve impulses (action potentials) occurring in the gut